We are now a few months into quarantine and social distancing. With no end in sight, we are going a little stir-crazy. We’re used to staying busy, adventuring, and traveling, so when we’re restricted to just our little place, we have to think outside the box for ways to stay engaged.
It’s kind of like trying to entertain yourself as a kid. You couldn’t just hop in a car and drive to the beach or book a flight to the Bahamas. You had to engage your creative senses and create a world of adventure at home. Suddenly the living room floor becomes lava and you must journey across the sofa pillows to rescue Barbie. The backyard tree becomes a ship that you must climb to take watch for approaching pirates.
By tapping into a bit of that childhood imagination, your surroundings can become an adventure. Typically, adventures are seen as intense, challenging, and exciting. We believe these elements can be scaled-down into a mini-version – a microadventure.
Microadventures are a way to try something new, experience human connection, and maybe push the limits of your comfort zone. There is no reason you can’t experience microadventure within the confines of your own home. Here are some microadventures suitable for trying at home that can add some excitement to your quarantine.
Microadventures can be something new:
Start a garden
Plant an outdoor herb garden or try to propagate new plants from store-bought produce. (Potatoes, celery, and onions are easy for first-timers.) Caring for indoor plants can also be a rewarding activity. They add a little life to the indoors while also purifying the air.
Camp in the backyard
If you have no tent available, try making a simple shelter with a tarp or oversized blanket. Don’t forget the bonfire with hot dogs and s’mores!
Gaze up at the stars
Lie a blanket out on the ground and observe the stars. Although it is possible to see the same sun and moon from all points on earth, the stars will not necessarily be the same. Let the kids ponder that one a bit.
Make a time capsule and bury it
Gather some items that are symbolic of you at this certain place and time. Write a little letter to your future self. Pack it all into a shoe box or container and bury it deep in the ground. Just make sure you remember where you buried it!
Get a “Covid cut”
Have you always wanted a Mohawk or blaze orange hair? Well now is the time to do it! With most people on quarantine status and working from home, professional attire has shifted to sweat pants and comfy tee’s. If you have no meetings, then why not go for that drastic hairstyle you’ve always wanted?
Start a Journal
This is a unique time in history. Document your experience so that you might look back and remember what you were thinking, doing, and feeling.
Make your own movie
I’m not talking about a 15 second Tik Tok, I mean a real movie. Take out your phone, Go-pro, or whatever recording device you have and just record something. Don’t know what to record? Making an at-home movie is just like writing a book. Just start doing it and the ideas will start flowing.
Take a virtual trip
From zoos and aquariums to museums and national parks, the world is opening up new platforms to experience these places virtually. By leveraging technology, these places are now accessible from the comfort of your own home.
Learn a survival skill
Nature may be the best classroom when it comes to survival skills, but practicing at home is a nice substitute. Try learning the art of fire-making (without lighter fluid or matches), net weaving, building shelter, campfire cooking, knots, etc.
Learn a magic trick
Who isn’t impressed by a good magic trick? Learn a simple card trick or maybe how to make a coin disappear. There are a number of books, articles, and videos that can teach you how to learn a new magic trick.
Hone a “hidden talent”
How many times have you been asked “what is your hidden talent?” How many times have you had to give the lame respond “umm nothing?” Well, it’s time to change that! Quarantine is the ideal time to learn a new hidden talent since you have nothing but time. How about juggling, pen spinning, or reciting the alphabet backwards?
Find a piece of wood and see what you can create. Long sturdy pieces of wood that you find in nature are ideal for carving into a walking stick. Scrap lumber can be whittled down into figurines, spoons, tobacco pipes, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Related Content: The Philosophy of Microadventures
Microadventures can be about Human Connection:
Join virtual meetup
Meetup.com and Airbnb experiences allow you to connect with other adventurers while taking part in a virtual activity. Opportunities and topics are endless. You can take a cooking class with a Michelin star chef or learn how to make Sangria with Lisbon Drag Queens. Not your cup of tea? Follow a plague doctor through the streets of Prague or join a Harry Potter tour through Edinburgh.
Reconnect with an old friend
There is no better time to reconnect with an old friend than the present. Things happen, people get busy, and friends lose touch. It happens to the best of us, but all it takes is a 5-minute call to rekindle a friendship.
Paint rocks to hide around town for neighbors to enjoy
Even a small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s world. Spread joy by painting rocks in bright colors with cheerful messages. Scatter them throughout the neighborhood or along a trail. The surprising sight just might brighten a stranger’s day.
Create a meaningful gift for a friend
Paint something, write a letter, create an activity book, or maybe assemble a scrapbook. Your quarantined friends are probably just as bored as you are. Take the extra time to create something meaningful and send it their way.
Draw a sidewalk mural
I took Huckleberry Doodle for a walk around the neighborhood and was excited to see so many drawings along the sidewalk: “Black Lives Matter”, “We are all in this together and we will persevere” “The world is better because you are here.” These little messages can create a strong sense of connectedness with those around you…all without breaking social distancing rules!
Make a baby <3
I mean if you’re ready mentally, physically, and financially, there is no better time and no greater adventure than starting a family. If you already have one, foster an animal in need. No pets allowed in your rental? Buy a plant and raise it as your own.
Related Content: 10 Indoor “Adventure” Dates for You and Your Bae on a Rainy Day
Microadventures can be something challenging:
Attempt to finish a 1,000 piece puzzle
Looking for a time-consuming distraction? A puzzle is the answer. Try a 1,000 piece or maybe one of those fancy 3-D puzzles.
How about a table, a solar stove, or a bird feeder? If you want to take it up a notch, I challenge you to make a treehouse. When it is done, let me know because we will come and sleep in it. Scott and I love treehouses!
Make something from scratch
When is the last time you brewed your own beer or made cheese from milk? That’s what I thought. With the convenience of grocery stores, few people actually know how to make some of the most basic foods from scratch (ie butter, cheese, sourdough bread, etc). Challenge yourself by making something you would normally buy from the store.
Make a fort
Making a fort is as easy or challenging as you make it to be. Grab some blankets and pillows and make an epic fort in the living room.
Make a backyard obstacle course
Make an obstacle course for you, the kiddoes, or even your dog. Get creative using things you find around the house and yard like cardboard boxes, scrap lumber, stumps, pool noodles, and hula hoops.
Have a fight!
Grab some nerf guns, water guns or water balloons and have a massive backyard battle.
Try a science experiment
Science experiments make great micro-adventures. In theory, you might know what is supposed to happen. If the experiment actually goes as planned is a different story.
Take on a physical challenge
Commit yourself to a physical challenge that is new and perhaps pushing your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to do 30 pushups each day for 30 days. Try a strictly vegan diet for one month. Practice doing the splits for 30 days. Pick a physical challenge, truly commit to it and see how it changes you.
Take on a mental challenge
Choose a challenge that will stimulate your mind in a new and profound way. Meditate for 20 minutes each day. Commit to reading a new book each week. Practice mindful yoga each morning for 30 days. Again, pick a mental challenge, truly commit to it and see how it changes you.
Learn a new language
Although traveling is not in the cards for the near future, there is no reason not to begin learning a new language now. After all, time is on our side. Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, podcasts, and textbooks are all great places to start.
Adventure is everywhere even at home when you’re quarantined and convinced there is absolutely nothing to do. Just open your mind and a world of microadventure will appear. Take advantage of this time at home to try something new, invest in human connections, and to truly challenge yourself. If you do that, I promise your life will become rich in adventure….and don’t forget to tell us when you build that treehouse!
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We struggle many days with staying at home. I can’t really imagine how tough this would be with children still at home. I love the list of creative things you have offered to keep everyone engaged. I keep saying I want to use this time to learn something new. Not happened yet. And hubby won’t let me practice my singing!!!! I am loving the painted rocks we find when we go for a walk these days. Decorated sidewalks would cheer my day. A good list if I get bored one day.
I totally understand how you feel. I keep telling myself that I want to learn how to juggle during this quarantine, but have yet to even look up a YouTube tutorial. I’ve made progress on many of the other items on the list though! Glad you found this microadventure bucket list useful!
You nailed it! This list is so timely and just what I needed. I am actually trying to learn French via Duolingo during quarantine so that once they start letting Americans back into Europe I can head to Paris (hopefully). I’ve also been honing my cooking skills. I better get cracking on some of the other things you suggested!
I don’t think I’ve ever baked so much in my life! Glad to hear I’m not the only one getting busy in the kitchen. I’m excited to hear about your trip to Paris. You should be a pro at speaking French by the time this is all over!
We have been trying to do little things to keep our minds and spirits stimulated. I like the term microadventures more.. it feels intentional and like an adventure. It is a challenge for everyone but it’s also nice to know that everyone is kind of in the same boad and its all about perspective and there ARE ways to make the most and hopefully gain some valueble insight into our lives during this time. Hopefully we all emerge from this as better humans 🙂
Very well said. I hope we can all take advantage of this time to dig a little deeper, challenge ourselves, learn, grow and come out the other side a little better.
HAHAHAHA, These are some epic Micro Adventures in the time of the Covid. I loved how you put in making a baby, as a micro adventure in itself.
This lockdown has been driving me crazy as well, and now that I’ve accepted the situation and the grim reality that travel might not be viable activity until at least the year end, I’ve started focussing my energy into honing my skills at cocktail making at home. I even ended up with making a legit Insta page for that.
Juggling between that and the blog, keeps the creative juices flowing.
What is your insta page? We’d love to check it out and add a few recipes to our repertoire. 🙂
I love the term mircoadventures! I had not thought of it as such! Plant a garden, make an obsticle course …
I appreciate the physical challenge AND the mental challenge!
We love the term microadventure. It is a new way of looking at things, to find the exciting and adventure in every moment. To truly appreciate the small things!
This is a lovely list. I have attempted a few of these myself. Like completing a 2000 piece puzzle and not one but two. Reconnecting with friends and even having a virtual bday party was fun too. I like the idea of paint the rock. Maybe I will try that and I sure would love to keep a time capsule
I actually just did the rock painting activity this weekend and updated this article with a photo! The best part was being able to scatter these messages of joy around the neighborhood.
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions this whole lock down and being at home and thinking of ways to rather enjoy it and not get depressed about it. Thanks to this list which has some great ides of how to do things and keep bust . We did try a few of these I must admit – sleeping outdoors and the tent which went down great with my kids. I did push myself to take that physical challenge and do walks everyday without a miss and boy did that help yes. Thanks for sharing these great tips – was fund to read these.
I love that you tried camping at home too! It was a bit like glamping. Sleeping in a tent, but having the luxury to use the restroom in the house as needed. We already are planning to do it again! Also, good for you for taking on that physical challenge. It can be tough to find motivation, but the satisfaction of completing a challenge like that is a good reward.
These are amazing ideas. My kids had been looking for new “adventures” as they been stuck at home for quite some time. Love the idea of making a time capsule and to carve something.
Activities can become pretty mundane when you are locked in the house for so many months. It just takes a change of perspective to see some of those “everyday” activities as an adventure or in this case a microadventure. Glad you were able to get some helpful ideas from the article!
Such a good read. I have done a few from the list. Gardening, cooking new recipes, reading & painting wine bottles, I have been doing this without failing. Apart from that I had redesigned my blog & got a new logo. I feel good after that. I loved the idea of making babies. It’s a good time to think for those who have been planning ?
Right now is the perfect time to work on the blog. We have been trying to take advantage of this time at home to think creatively and put pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard? 🙂
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I love the idea of microadventures and you have so many good ideas on this list! There’s no excuse for anyone to be bored!
Absolutely, it just takes a little creativity and effort but there are plenty of fun things to do and experience at home. We’ve also been taking advantage of local travel and staycations to get out and explore our own hometowns a bit more. We have discovered so many local gems that we would have never known of if it weren’t for the pandemic lockdown! There is always a silver lining right?
Great tips here for a pandemic world. With no international travel in the near future, it’s good to focus at home. Thanks again.
So glad you found this helpful. No one could have guessed that we would still be facing some of these pandemic challenges one year on, yet here we are. Happy to share these Covid-safe microadventures with you all.
I loved some homely activities during quarantine and lock down. Being a foodie, I tried to cook many cuisines around the world. Going for long walks, movie nights and even making videos was my hobby during quarantine.
We are definitely foodies as well. We took up the baking hobby and learned how to make some killer focaccia and sourdough. We also tried some more ambitious dishes like French Bouillabaise that didn’t turn out quite as well!
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